Here comes school. Your dog or cat may get lonely. Toys to the rescue!
“Ah, it’ll be so nice to give the perfect gift to my pet.” But it’s not so easy, especially during fall months when Earth changes nudge you to get the right gift. To get some clues about what your pet really wants to beat cabin fever and seasonal changes, just take this quiz about pet behavior. I’ve identified five distinct pet personality types, and based on your answers, I’ll tell you exactly what kind of pet you have. Once you know your pet’s personality type, I’ll dish out some ideas for the right gifts for your pet.
When company comes, your pet
A. Greets the visitor with welcome paws.
B. Disappears under the bed.
C. Demands attention first and foremost.
D. Darts out door and climbs the nearest tree or jumps the highest fence.
E. Stays in his place and doesn’t blink a pet’s eye.
The first time you took your pet to the veterinarian, she surprised you by
A. Nuzzling up to the good doctor.
B. Refusing to get out of the crate or walk into the office.
C. Meowing or whining too loud or too long.
D. Jogging laps around the doctor.
E. Curling up on the examining table and catching a nap.
Riding in the car with your furry friend is
A. Like having a wonderful, alert traveling companion.
B. No fun. After all, your pet cries the entire drive.
C. A challenging feat. You have to make a stop at your pet’s favorite fast-food drive-thru for those yummy chicken strips.
D. A major distraction due to her acrobatic feats.
E. Nothing to write home to Mom about.
When you call your pet, you can expect
A. A happy cat or dog at your feet in no time.
B. To have to call again, and again, and again.
C. To use all the pet names you can think of and to coax as needed.
D. To find a scruffy pet teamed with alive lizard, bird, stick, or ball.
E. A laid-back, pet-eye stare (if you’re in close proximity), but nothing more.
When children are around, your pet
A. Purrs or wags its tail, and comes alive.
B. Disappears fast.
C. Expects to be treated the same, if not better.
D. Acts like a dog or cat and will fetch, jump, and play on command.
E. Sits on top of the television remote control.
When presented with a new kind of food, you pet
A. Is eager to try it.
B. Is highly suspicious and my not eat.
C. Will eat it if it’s premium pet food—and expects you to dish out more.
D. Will roll over or nudge you for more if it’s tasty.
E. May be sweet if you serve it to him on a TV tray.
When someone sites with your pet in her favorite chair, you’ll find your companion animal
A. Is content and curls up in any lap.
B. Flees and finds another suitable spot.
C. Cries or whimpers until that chair becomes empty.
D. Moves over and rolls onto her back.
E. Will not budge an inch. After all, she was there first.
When a human vacuums, your pet
A. Hops onto the machine and goes along for the ride.
B. Darts to a quiet place.
C. Acts disturbed by the noise but refuses to leave the area.
D. Scampers about and tries to catch the loud monster.
E. Stares at the vacuum.
If a new person or pet visits for a week, your pet
A. Is content—the more the merrier.
B. Packs his bags and may, or may not, leave you a forwarding address.
C. Begins a pesky behavior program at once.
D. Tries to engage the visitor to play ball.
E. Wears a “do not disturb” look.
When you’re sick, you’ll find your cat
A. Shares her breakfast (in bed) with you.
B. Lies next to you and purrs or is on his best behavior.
C. Jumps up on you in bed and demand her breakfast.
D. Chases the dog or cat for entertainment.
E. Hangs out on the couch with you (complete with comforter and heating pad).
Your Pets Personality Type
Look at all your answers and then see which letter you circled the most often. Your pet may fall clearly into one of these categories or may possess the characteristics of two.
Mostly A’s: The Extrovert
Extroverted pets are people-pets and pet-pets. They’re social creatures, are likely to make small talk, and are ready for company and new experiences.
Best Bets: Interactive toys that encourage your pet to chase, pounce, and jump are best. Teasers you can dangle, balls you can toss, which can boost the companion animal-human bond—an extrovert’s dream-come-true.
Pet Peeve: Objects that don’t move, such as a pet pillow or bed, are better for the introverted pet.
Mostly B’s: The Introvert
These pets enjoy socializing, but they also need opportunities to reflect and recharge their batteries. They can be one-person pets or pet-pets, but don’t count on introverted or shy pets to be social—it’s not part of their vocabulary.
Best Bets: Objects such as bones (for dogs) and furry mice (for cats), and innovative balls (from neon to food inside) are good because an introverted pet can sometimes fly solo and enjoy active play and/or tasty treats, too. Hideaway toys, such as cat bags and yards for dogs, are ideal for timid or loner pets, because they may feel more comfortable exploring or high up away from people.
Pet Peeve: A noisy, interactive toy is a shy pet’s worst-nightmare.
Mostly C’s: The Queen or King of the House
We all know the endearing cartoon-type of companion animal that everyone bows to at the minute they bark or meow. The haughty pet flaunts attention-getting behavior (such as nudging). Why? Pesky persistence pays and this royal pet hangs in there until cash-out time.
Best Bets: Actually, the secret wants of a spoiled pet are very individual. But note: the Queen or King loves to be catered to. A high-tech self-cleaning litter box, or plush cozy dog bed are two essential gifts regal pets should not be without.
Pet Peeve: A bag of generic treats.
Mostly D’s: The Athletic Pet
Trees, fields, and cat trees are on this rugged, go-pet’s mind, and your sofas and bookshelves may be the next best thing. Hunting wildlife is on the Athletic Pet’s agenda, too. And caution: All kittens and puppies are wannabe Athletic Pets. That means—braces yourself for indoor runners, jumpers, and climbers. And remember that nothing lasts forever (see Sofa Spud).
Best Bets: This pet probably likes chasing after things. That means fishing pole-style toys or a windup toy mouse that urges the cat to stalk, pounce, or a dog-pal with toys to share where the Athletic canine can socialize is great physical, interactive pet toy choices.
Pet Peeve: A house without pet toys or pet friends is much too confining for this world pet.
Mostly E’s: The Sofa Spud
This sedentary pet (often it’s a senior) loves to curl up on the couch or bed. Hanging out by the television or with another couch potato (pet or human) is part of the good life. Pet aerobics is not high on this pet’s To Do list. In fact, Sofa Spuds don’t often respond to environmental stimuli unless, of course, a tremor or twister hits home—or hits their favorite spot on the couch.
Best Bets: Forget object toys and social or interactive games. A perfect give for the sedate pet might be an entertainment cat or dog film. Something that they can play with without moving (like a toy mouse or bone) is a good choice. Or perhaps an inviting, cozy pet throw to cuddle up with is best.
Pet Peeve: A cat or dog treadmill will upset this inactive pet.